It’s important to remember the following:
Recreational Travel is Still Prohibited for United States Citizens
Restraints regarding visits for purely tourist and recreational purposes are still prohibited to the US Citizen. Cuban travel remains more accessible than it has been since the embargo in 1961 because there are additional travel categories that do not require OFAC authorization, but visits must have a purpose beyond beachfront relaxation. Under the new regulations, “Recreational travel, tourist travel, travel in pursuit of a hobby, or research for personal satisfaction only” remain illegal. Therefore, trips to Cuba are required to be non-commercial as well as purposeful; that being said, since specific licenses are no longer required, this requirement can be met without as much paperwork as before.
HOWEVER – we Provide Legal Tours for USA Residents
We have carefully designed an active immersive cycling itinerary that is GROUP people-to-people approved. As an American Citizen, you can feel comfortable when filling our the Visa requirements that you are, in fact, visiting Cuba legally. Our tours qualify you to check one of the 12 reason American Citizens can travel to Cuba. One of the 12 boxes you have to check is called “educational activities” — our people-to-people tours qualify you as being part of an educational GROUP packaged tour.
What is a People-to-People Tour?
Each day has a people-to-people element in the tour as we are cycling with Cuban National Cyclists. But we have also added many other elements such as visit to a local choir and walking tours of the cities we visit to ensure a full itinerary of people to people educational activities. Traveling through Cuba with a people-to-people emphasis means our itineraries will take participants to places that the typical tourist seldom sees or knows to look for. Rather, our trips take participants to communities, organizations, and places that will not only be educational and enlightening, but culturally enriching for both parties involved.
On June 16, 2017 Trump announced that the individual “people to people” category would be eliminated and that new rules would begin to be drafted within 30 days, with no timeline for completion announced to date. The current regulations (including the individual people to people category) remain in place until such a time as new rules are released. The following is a non-exhaustive explanation of the current status of regulations surrounding travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens.
Our tours are not self-directed or self-guided. Trips are fully scheduled, and activities are immersive and incredibly insightful for the Cuban visitor. Our tour is accompanied by a represented from the USA in Jennifer Storm Hilton.